International Girl Child Day : 2022
11th of October has been designated for the celebration of the “girl child” and the year 2022 marks the 10th year from its day of inception. It amuses me to think that is a day enough? While a lot of heterosexual males may oppose this biased perspective of triumphing the girl, here’s an insight is to why this day came to being.
In the face of gender inequality and oppression of women, the United Nations General Assembly had declared 11th October, 2012 as the inaugural day for recognizing the importance of investing and empowering girls by adopting resolution 66/120. This declaration was made keeping in mind, the predicament of females especially those who are either born and then admonished or most often than not, killed as a feotus.
Back in the days, when violence and curbing of rights of female children was way beyond that of a male child and discrimination against the former was at its peak, this resolution came to force to forbid any further gender-based sex selection. Although both the genders have equal amount of capacity and potential for almost any generic social, cultural, political undertakings, the advantage of being a man has ruled out the possibility of even considering the worth of a female or even cultivating the idea of a female coming at par with the capabilities of a man. Deep-rooted patriarchy worldwide has thereon given rise to a lot of female empowerment slogans and protests but that was never the resolution to cleansing the orthodox, obstinate minds of the rulers of the world who remain comfortable in their niche of ignorance. Exploitation of women results from the self declared sense of superiority that men hold for themselves and feel derogatory if placed on the same pedestal as an equally capable woman.
The sociological problem of choosing a male child over a female is the most misconceived notion of its time along with believing that the male child would be solo in acting as the staff for the aged parents.
To speak in the Indian context, there exists a paradox in calling the girl child the “lakshmi”(holy) of the house and at the same time, when this Lakshmi grows up to get married and engages in the act of procreation to give birth to another Lakshmi, the woman is asked to give up the girl child by aborting her if the sex has been pre-determined(Indians have a way of getting things done). How does this ratio work? it is for instances like these that boys grow up to feel that it is okay to manhandle women without paying any heed to their consent. How does one gauge if the girl child would grow up to fit the shoes of being the boy in the family if she is eliminated from the competition before her birth; neither does anyone know why a girl is supposed to be the “boy” of a family when she could just be a girl and fulfill the duties of being an individual first and take other responsibilities like all human beings do. The fact that women have to climb the ladder of competition and survive in a world dominated by man, is not because they’re trying to take other people’s places or purloin the opportunities of a man, it is because this is the bare minimum of trying to come at par with the men who are already existing in the hierarchy, rather than empowering themselves.
The concept of feminism is often misconstrued as an idea of purging man and deprecating the value of the heterosexual male. In essence, feminism is simply about getting equal opportunity for a girl as that would have been given to a male, beginning from their right to be conceived and born.
The fact is, a day is not enough to triumph the “girl child”. It is a prolonged process that has been undergoing and will keep on until the scale is balanced on either sides. Girl children in the most interior regions of the country and the world are denied rights to education, coupled with some rudimentary social rights. Who gets to decide if a girl child is deserving of her necessities? It is the patriarch in men and also in regressive women that fear subordination and logical arguments and actions that the child would back her literacy and knowledge up with; which would negate the traditional mindsets clouding objective judgements of the otherwise socially backward, stereotypical and conventionally prejudiced social beings. The moral high ground is maintained with the manipulation in place but the bubble bursts as soon as self awareness and enlightenment is evoked and inculcated within the female child who, “if permitted” grows up to take a stand for themselves. The repercussions of being a woman and the harassment thus projected upon showcases in varied forms like early un-consensual marriage and denial to any form of education so as to subdue them from emerging like a phoenix from the ashes.
To top it all, the magnitude of vulnerability and exploitation that a girl child faces along with the social subordination that follows is unparalleled. It is not necessary to place a woman on a high ground but it is primal for them to be given a foundation and a base to stand in and take shape to be able to identify themselves as individual social beings. The idea is to not come in competition with men or any other sexual being for that matter, it is just to let the child survive and let them make decisions for themselves rather than have everything pre-decided for them, including and starting with their consent to live.